You can’t keep a good sex scandal down - and the one involving the Swaziland Royal Family is no exception.
Two months ago (August 2010), King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, sacked his Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ndumiso Mamba when he was caught having an affair with the king’s 12th wife Nothando Dube (also known as Inkosikati LaDube).
News and comment on the affair went on for about two weeks and then died (in news value terms) a natural death.
And then suddenly ..... the whole affair hit the headlines and the Internet all over again this week. There was no ‘update’ on the story, nothing about what fate became Mamba or whether Dube was locked away in a palace somewhere.
It was just the story and pictures of Mamba hiding inside a bed and caught red handed which we had all seen on 8 August 2010.
I guess what happened was that a journalist at a news organisation somewhere didn’t realise the story was old and sent it out as if it had just happened. Because the Internet feeds on itself it was picked up by others and went round the globe a couple of times again.
So, everyone else has had two bites of this particular cherry, but the Swazi people still are not allowed to know that its ruling elite are far from perfect.
One of the media organisations to report this week on the affair was France 24 / The Observers. It did a rather good summary in both French and English of the affair and interviewed some fellow who writes Swazi Media Commentary (he blushed modestly).
To read the English version, click here.